Working with your website design is an important part of the life cycle and development process of your website project. But what exactly must your input be into the project and how much should you go about helping with the life cycle of the project?
Have All Necessary Content Available.
Once you have decided to contract the services of a website designer, the next step would be to accumulate all relevant content that the designer would require for the site. Your business logo, images, or artwork, that you would like to have on the site are all content that you can provide.
If your company has a marketing department, samples of your promotional material can also help. As the purpose of the website is more marketing your business your marketing department or marketing material that you possess can help with carrying your message and image to the web.
If At All Possible, Have Someone Assigned As Web Design Liaison
The task of creating and providing web content for your site can sometimes be a time consuming task. Being able to give yourself to the demands of the site and continue with your daily responsibilities can be challenging at times. If at all possible, I strongly recommend delegating the task of providing web content to an individual who will liaison between you and your website designer.
The choice not to do so or the inability to do so can have a significant impact on the timeframe of a project. Projects that need to take a few weeks can sometimes turn into months of your designer waiting to receive content from you. By all means, deliver content on time and make a concerted effort to do so. Your website will be an important component of your business and should not be treated as a distraction.
Make Reasonable Requests.
Not all things on the web are applicable to your website project. Your web designer will know best what content needs to be placed on the site, where, when and how. Every element on every page must serve the purpose of your website. When you request features to be placed on the site, your need to ask yourself how those features will serve the purpose of the site? Do you want to have the feature because you saw it on another site and thinks it's a good thing to have? How will your audience use the feature that your are requesting? Will it help them find information on the site or will it help communicate your message? These are important questions to ask.
Remember, you are not designing the site for yourself but for your audience. Professional designers are trained to do just that, design your website and they know best why some features should or should not be on the site.
I have often had to discourage website owner about using Flash animation on their business websites, especially when it's used as a splash page to get to their site. That is one of the most useless pieces of features that can be used on any site. If your will request the use of flash for animation, use it in small measure on your home page and only to help communicate your message. People don't come to your business website to be entertained but to look for information and that is what they should get.